Bon Voyages and Beginnings

Letters

“So when do you think you’re going to start missing New Orleans?”

We’re in the car, riding on a high of McDonald’s french fries and almost 900 hours of summer camp. The music is pulsing, reverberating, through the bones of the car. Mississippi pine trees go by in a blur, the sun as well.  My fingers tap against the window, feet slung up onto the dashboard, head bopping from side to side. I’m humming along absentmindedly to some summer anthem, making up words, picking at my split-ends, dotting mosquito bites with my fingernails.

5:57 AM// Steamboat Natchez

Letters

Sometimes I wish I could take what I’m seeing– the exact curvature of the sky, the faint rippling of the water, the line of light casting shards and shadows– and be able to record it.

Not with a camera or binoculars or a video– but real time.

Exactly through my eyes.

Through the squinting of my pupils.

There are certain moments where I find myself pausing and thinking to myself, “Wow. Wouldn’t it be great if I could remember this moment, right now, for the rest of my life?”

Watching the sun rise over the Mississippi was one of those times.

7 AM CT// Audubon Park Oak Tree

Letters

WHERE: Live Oak Tree on the Edge of the Lake/Golf Course, Audubon Park

WHEN: 7-something AM, Central Time

Dear Audubon,

Let me tell you a story–

the very first time I spotted you, I was 20 years-old and riding the streetcar from one end of St. Charles to the other.  I saw an arcing entrance, palm trees, a massing of Spanish moss, and legit sprinted off the streetcar shrieking,

“YOU GUYS, THIS IS THE PARK!”